Brooks B. Gump

Ph.D., MPH
Falk Family Endowed Professor

Brooks B. Gump, Ph.D., MPH, named the Falk Family Endowed Professor of Public Health in the Falk College at Syracuse University, joined the Falk College faculty in 2010 and is currently a professor in the Department of Public Health.

In 2011, Syracuse University alumni David B. and Rhonda S. Falk committed $15 million to SU—one of the largest-ever single gifts to the University. As part of their visionary and purposeful commitment to academics as a path to success, which created the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, the Falk’s also established a series of endowed professorships. These professorships allow the Falk College to support internationally recognized faculty to enhance the research, academic and experiential components of its programs to advance its mission rich in teaching, research, scholarship, practice and service.

Recognized internationally for his research on cardiovascular disease risk in children, Gump was awarded an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences earlier this year for the project, “Environmental Toxicants, Race and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Children.” The study investigates the relationship between race, socioeconomic status, blood lead levels, cardiovascular responses to acute stress and cardiovascular disease risk. To better pinpoint the early antecedents of racial disparities, the study is focused on a sample of 300 African American and European American children ages 9 to 11 in the city of Syracuse, NY area over four years.

In addition to his ongoing NIH-supported research with children, Gump is currently principal investigator for a grant from the National Science Foundation Research Education for Undergraduate (REU) program, entitled, “Training Veterans to Conduct Trauma Research with Fellow Veterans.” Through this grant, Gump and a team from SUNY Oswego and SUNY Upstate Medical train undergraduates who are military veterans to conduct research with other veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The recipient of numerous research awards for his work, Gump was honored most recently with the Falk College’s Faculty of the Year in Research for 2012-2013.

Previously, Gump served as an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the State University of New York at Oswego. His work there was also supported by numerous NIH grants, including an R01, R21, and American Recovery and Reinvestment Award Supplement. With an array of research and publications, his specialties include psychosocial factors and their overall effect on health, and more recently, the effects of socioeconomic disadvantage, race, and environmental toxicants (e.g.,lead and mercury) on children and adolescents’ health. His teaching areas include introduction to epidemiology, introduction to psychology, health psychology, research methods/experimental psychology, health promotion, introductory and advanced statistics, behavioral medicine and psychophysiology.

He serves on the editorial board of two prominent journals in his field, Psychosomatic Medicine, andHealth Psychology, and serves as an ad hoc reviewer for numerous other journals, including theAmerican Journal of Epidemiology, Pediatrics, Stroke, and American Journal of Psychiatry. He is currently serving a four-year term as a member of the National Institute of Child Health and Development’s (NICHD’s) Health, Behavior, and Context Subcommittee.

Gump earned a Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego, and MPH degree in epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh. He holds a master’s degree in general psychology from Radford University and a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Swarthmore College.


Ph.D. University of California, San Diego

MPH Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh

M.S. General Psychology, Radford University

B.A. Philosophy, Swarthmore College


Cardiovascular disease risk in children; environmental toxicants; health disparities and socioeconomic status; stress and health.

Research Focus

Dr. Gump’s research is focused in three areas:

  • Environmental toxicants (e.g., lead) and cardiovascular disease risk
  • Discrimination and health
  • Vacationing behavior and health

Data collection for a number of these projects has just recently been completed; therefore, current student opportunities exist in exploration and potential presentation using existing datasets.

Research Projects

Syracuse Lead Study

Lead, an environmental toxicant, is known to cause serious mental and developmental defects in children and young adults. Recent research indicates that lead may affect the cardiovascular system (heart and veins). The Syracuse Lead Study hopes to learn more about these issues, specifically how very low levels of lead in children’s blood can affect cardiovascular health throughout life.

Undergraduate Trauma Research Training Program

The Undergraduate Trauma Research Training program is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Education for Undergraduates (REU) program, a collaborative venture between Syracuse University, SUNY Oswego, and SUNY Upstate Medical University.

Vacationing and Health Study

To demonstrate the potential costly effects of not taking time off from work as well as the beneficial effects that can result from vacationing, Funded by Project: Time Off, “The Psychosocial and Physiological Consequences of Taking and Not Taking Time Off,” examines the association between paid time off and health outcomes. This research may help inform perceptions of paid time off and identify the benefits of vacations both for businesses by increasing productivity and individuals/families by increasing quality of life.